Here’s a spicy vegetable dish that does Creole food proud. You could substitute vegetable broth for the ham broth and make it totally vegetarian. It is the classic Gumbo Z’herbes (sounds like gumbo zaab). You can use the frozen vegetables for ease of preparation.
- 10 ounces fresh or frozen spinach, thawed
- 10 ounces fresh or frozen mustard greens, thawed
- 10 ounces fresh or frozen turnip greens, thawed
- 10 ounces fresh or frozen collard greens, thawed
- 3 quarts of ham broth, or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon each of thyme, basil and oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon each of black and red pepper
- 1 bunch of green onions (scallions), chopped
- 2 whole cloves and 2 whole allspice
- Gently boil the greens with the bay leaves for two hours.
- Strain the greens, reserve the water
- Chop the greens finely and reserve.
- Meanwhile, make a dark roux of the flour and oil, stirring constantly.
- Put in the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook 5 minutes.
- Add half of the chopped parsley, half of the green onions, and cook 5 minutes.
- Add in the cooking water, the greens, herbs and spices, and seasonings.
- Simmer on low heat 30 minutes, taste for salt.
Put a little rice in each bowl and ladle on the gumbo. Garnish with the remaining parsley and green onions.
This is one more delightful, full of flavour Creole gumbo. You should try it soon. Traditionally it was served on Good Friday in Catholic Louisiana, but you don’t have to wait till then.